IMPORTANT NOTICE FOR PARENTS
Face Filters to Trick Your Kids
Do your kids actually know who they are talking to online? Do you even know?
Face filters are nothing new but in the wake of Todd Sampson’s Omegle discovery in his documentary Mirror Mirror, the video footage that transpired offered viewers a very transparent take on how the video chatting app works.
The reality however, is that many people your kids may be talking to via Omegle or any other social media platform, are not who they say (or show) they are.
I am a 52yr old woman. As you will see in the video below, in just a few clicks, I am able to change my appearance within a simple passport photo in less than 60 seconds. The result? A completely different face and person.
There are many available apps that allow users to alter or cover up their appearance. The one I used is called Face App. These apps don’t exist with sinister ideals in mind, but in some cases have been adopted by unsavoury people so that they can hide behind another face and trick whomever it is that they are chatting to. The reasons for doing this include to groom young children, for self-gratification of a graphic nature and to commit image-based abuse.
And then there is the self-esteem issue. So many young people are filtering themselves "to look better", sometimes copying their parents who do the same.
If you are at all concerned about your child’s activity online and who they may be talking to, start a conversation TODAY. A few tips that may help: Don’t get angry. Kids naturally pull away and will be reluctant to open up and share. Don’t be accusatory. You are trying to find out if they need help or want to talk about something they’ve seen. This will only cause friction and feelings of distrust. Instead ask "what would you do if a friend was using a filter" or what would you do if you are suspicious that a friend was talking to a stranger online and they were sharing photos? How do they know if it is really that person?
Do show an interest. And be genuine in that interest. Ask them what they have been watching lately and where they like to watch it. Get them to show you.
Do check their privacy settings. Most platforms have the ability for the user to make their profile private, only viewable by friends rather than by the public.
Do know how to report. If your child reveals something unsavoury, follow the report functions available in most social media apps.
Don’t ban them from their device. This will create resistance to your support and may cause them to act out and find somewhere else to access their social media accounts.
Do educate yourself. Knowing about the many social media apps is paramount if your child has access to a device. You need to know what they are used for, how they work and how to keep your kids safe online.
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